By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Dec 16, 2009 at 11:00 AM
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Gordon Ramsay smiled and mugged and joked his way through an hour of his "Cookalong Live" Tuesday night on Fox.

And he wasn't bleeped. Not once.

Talk about your kitchen nightmares.

The special, based on a British show hosted by the celebrity chef, had a muddled list of celebrities and home cooks preparing a three-course dinner in front of the cameras.

Comedian Cedric the Entertainer, "How I Met Your Mother" star (and vegan turned carnivore) Alyson Hannigan, and country singer LeAnn Rimes joined him in the studio, while Whoopi Goldberg cooked at home with her daughter. A bunch of real people Skyped along from various locales.

The closest Ramsay came to being his foul-mouthed self was when he chatted up Rimes with naughty overtones while the pair mixed up Tiramisu.

"I didn't know it was that kind of show," she said. "Now, c'mon."

 The appetizer was a shrimp and pasta dish. The main course, Steak Diane, was clearly picked to allow the chef -- and his guests -- to light a flame on camera.

There were no injuries.

We're in the heart of the Christmas TV doldrums of mostly reruns and holiday classics. Fox used the time to try out the live cooking show -- something you don't usually see on network TV.

Stripped of all the celebrity nonsense, such an idea may not be terrible. But the recipe for Tuesday's special had just too many ingredients, and the hour seemed to stretch on and on and on.

On TV: While the Time Magazine person of the year -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke -- was formally unveiled on Wednesday's "Today Show," NBC's morning show is delayed an hour on Channel 4. If you were watching NBC's sister channel, MSNBC, you would have seen the announcement more than a half-hour before it aired on "Today." That is, if you think the naming of the magazine's person of the year is still a big deal.

  • Oprah Winfrey may be ending her syndicated show, but she's producing one for decorator Nate Berkus, probably by next fall, according to The New York Times.
  • Speaking of syndicated shows, CBS' syndication arm has renewed "The Doctors" through the 2011-'12 season.
  • Zap2it says Jack Black and an unnamed big star will drop by NBC's "Community" in January.

Jimmy Fallon celebrates Hanukkah: NBC late-late-night talker brought Andy Samberg on his show as his Jewish "cousin" to celebrate the Festival of Lights.

Here's the video:

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.